With the 2014 Utah Legislature in session, education bills continue to be at the forefront in the number of new proposed bills. As of February 7th, there are 87 education related bills working their way through the Legislature. The bills affecting education have a broad range of impacts and differences. For example, HB 87 titled “Gender Amendments” would require a school district to provide reasonable bathroom accommodations to students consistently asserting gender identity and require local school boards to establish a policy in accordance with this intent. HB 73 “Living Wage Amendments”, would require an increase in the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour. As we continue to monitor the progress of each of the 87 bills and the impact they may have on Garfield School District, I would like to draw your attention to one bill in particular that could have a very positive impact on the students in Garfield School District. The bill is S.B. 38 sponsored by Senator Ralph Okerlund. This bill basically designates $1.3 million from the State Education Fund to Snow College to establish and administer the Concurrent Enrollment program. If this bill is approved, Snow College would provide all of the classes needed for a student to receive their Associate degree during their high school career. If a student receives their Associate degree before they graduate, they can receive the “Century Scholarship” which allows the student to receive approximately $20,000 to use toward their Bachelor degree. Garfield School District has the technology in place in each of the three high schools that would allow students to receive the classes from Snow College. I would encourage each of you to become involved in the Legislative process by sending emails or placing phone calls to the Senators and Representative that are sponsoring the bills that may affect you and your students.
–Superintendent Ben Dalton